The Centre for Digital Business is an Australian-based organization connected globally with thought leaders and practitioners in the field of digital transformation and innovation.
Our global public and private sector experience covers strategy, policy, design, the delivery of significant government and business transformation initiatives, national and international operations, and major enterprise and industry capabilities.
Our mission is to be a trusted strategic advisor – to provide expert advice, compelling strategies, and thought leadership to governments, policy makers, business, technology firms and academic institutions on innovation and new capabilities to meet the challenges and opportunities arising from the digital era.
In addition, the Centre for Digital Business believes that the digital era provides society with a new approach to addressing disadvantage, and is committed to an ethos of philanthropy and the advancement and mentoring of women, particularly in the field of ICT. The Centre for Digital Business supports the Indigenous Marathon Project.
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Managing Director & Chief Digital Officer
Government: Revenue, Immigration, Social Services, Business & Industry, Defence, Payments, Service Delivery Reform, Identity, Authentication, Whole of Government Architecture
Information Technology Strategy and Sales
Consulting, Financial Services
Bachelor of Arts – Deakin University
MBA – Melbourne Business School
Harvard University John F Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows Program
Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors
Marie is an internationally recognised public entrepreneur and reformer, recognised within the global digital community as an innovator, trusted advisor, skilful executive and thought provoking commentator in journals, the media and at international conferences.
She operates at the intersection of the human experience and systems thinking where co-design reveals boundless potential.
Marie questions thinking which doesn’t prepare us for the future, and explores radical innovation from the NASA programmes to accessible and inclusive technology – and the unseen linkages that change the world.
Marie is the co-creator of “Nadia” and led the global co-design and co-creation effort with people with disability to deliver “Nadia” the first artificial intelligent human realistic avatar (digital human) for service delivery.
Marie believes that artificial intelligence is not artificial, but a creative liberating humanising power, that will truly transform the interactions between people.
Marie has been at the forefront of digital transformation for many years. In 1999 Marie published an article based on her research at the Melbourne Business School, “Cyber Sector Set for Power Shift: An Electronic Revolution is About to Rock the World of Financial Services“, predicting the digital disruption of the financial sector. That same year, she led one of Australia’s first successful electronic business projects to transform payments at the State Revenue Office of Victoria.
In 2005 the US Government awarded Marie an O-1 Visa (Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business and recognized internationally) to take up the role of Microsoft Worldwide Executive Director of Public Services and eGovernment. Microsoft noted that Marie’s egovernment “…knowledge is unique in the world and is of particular interest to Microsoft as we pursue our egovernment strategies”.
Across the Australian Government, Marie has delivered significant technology, innovation and digital services transformation programs across taxation, business, social services, payments and immigration operations. Marie was the Chief Technology Architect of the Australian Government Health and Human Services Access Card program.
In 2015, Marie was appointed as Head of the Technology Authority for the National Disability Insurance Agency, delivering the business case and overseeing the technology strategy and technology implementation for the NDIS.
For many years, Marie was an invited member of the Accenture Global CIO Advisory Council; and an Independent Member of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Spectrum Programme Board.
Marie is currently a Board Director of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA); a member of the NSW Digital Government Advisory Panel; and a member of NZTech.
Her efforts and achievements have been recognised internationally and in Australia.
This include the United Nations Public Service Award in the category “Application of ICT in government: egovernment” for the Business Entry Point (www.business.gov.au) which she led for 5 years; and the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) Prime Minister’s Award for the concept development and delivery of the BasicsCard, an innovative payments system.
In 2006-2007, Marie was named “Innovative CIO of the Year – Australia”.
In 2013, Marie was named one of Australia’s “100 Women of Influence”.
Marie’s professional qualifications include: MBA (Melbourne Business School focusing on innovation and ecommerce); Bachelor of Arts; Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows Program; and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Marie is sought after internationally as a speaker on topics such as artificial intelligence, digital disruption, digital identity, egovernment, transformation and innovation. In recent years, Marie has delivered keynote presentations at the Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) in Malaysia; addressed a special session of the United Nations ESCAP in Bangkok on “ICT, e-Government and Women’s Empowerment”; and on digital identity at the European Digital Identity Conference IDNext in The Netherlands
Marie is an active supporter of cardiac health and cancer research as a donor, fundraiser and active participant. This included running – and completing – the 2012 London Marathon, and together with a team of 10 raised more than $100,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation.
Her goal is to leave a technology and innovation design legacy so that the interaction between people and the systems of society is naturally empathetic, seamless, intelligent and intuitive regardless of ability or language.
Al (Allan) Johnson
Director Enterprise Capability
Government: Defence, Health, Infrastructure, Rail,
Air Traffic Management.
Industry: Electricity and Water Utilities, Oil and Gas, Chemicals, Mining, Aviation
International ERP Consulting and Systems
Integration including Bid Management,
Design Lead and Advice to Government ERP
Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) – UTS
Al Johnson is the Director Enterprise Capability of the Centre for Digital Business. Al has deep technical and commercial expertise on all aspects of enterprise software projects, having held senior management and specialist positions with global organisations in all three ERP roles – customer, ERP software vendor and ERP systems integrator. He has gained this experience with government and commercial organisations around the world, in industries as diverse as health, infrastructure, defence, electricity and water utilities, oil and gas, mining, air traffic control services, chemicals and plastics, rail transport, aviation manufacturing and operations and metals processing. Al also has extensive experience in business transformation in many of these industries.
Commercially, Al has been a successful bid manager on large ERP implementation projects and software sales both in Australia and overseas. He has advised government and private sector customers on how to deal with their software and implementation services vendors, acting as a trusted advisor during the complete ERP life cycle including RFT preparation, tender evaluation, contract negotiation and the subsequent implementation project. Having worked in all ERP roles Al is able to offer a unique perspective to bidders and customers alike on their ERP activities.
Technically, Al has worked as a lead designer on ‘whole of business’ ERP projects and has also been a design specialist and subject matter expert on business transformation and software covering engineering, asset management, procurement and inventory, project management and human resources. Al has deep subject matter expertise in the area of enterprise asset management (EAM), and has been the lead EAM designer on projects in South East Asia, the Middle East and North America. Al’s education and experience started at the trade level and includes professional engineering and business qualifications therefore he is able to relate to customers at all levels from the shop floor to the boardroom, in Australia and overseas.
Al’s main philanthropic interest is heart health. He has qualified as a personal trainer with a speciality in exercise for heart patients, has raised thousands of dollars for the Heart Foundation, participates in patient education at local hospitals, speaks at heart and rehabilitation conferences, and is a supporter of the Indigenous Marathon Project.
The Centre for Digital Business believes in giving back to the community, mentoring women, and developing emerging leaders. Over the years, our team have been involved in activities which have raised tens of thousands of dollars for charities. We believe that a commitment to health and fitness is an essential part of personal and professional growth and resilience.
We also believe that individuals and small businesses can make a big difference and every dollar counts –this is made all the more achievable and impactful in the digital world.
The Centre for Digital Business is very pleased to be a supporter of the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP).
Indigenous Marathon Project
About the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP):
IMP uses the marathon as a vehicle to promote healthy lifestyles to Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Running is accessible to any age, ability and location and has the tremendous power to install a sense of personal accomplishment when one has pushed beyond what they thought possible.
The project annually selects a group of young Indigenous men and women to complete the New York City Marathon with just 6 months of training. This highlights the incredible natural talent that exists within this population, with the hope to one day unearth an Indigenous long distance running champion to take on the African dominance.
The project uses running to change lives. The core running squad push their physical and mental boundaries to a whole new level, and after crossing the finish line of the biggest marathon in the world they know they can achieve anything. These runners are trained to become healthy lifestyle leaders by completing a Certificate IV in Health and Leisure with a focus on Indigenous Healthy Lifestyle. This qualification is used to promote community based health and exercise initiatives including the Deadly Fun Run Series. Runners become role models within their communities and are leaders in the promotion of health and physical exercise to address the high instance of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and renal failure.
Robert De Castella is the Ditrector of the Indigenous Marathon Project.